January 27, 2014
This week was really good! I continue to learn more and more every week and it's so crazy how fast the time flies. Sister Gonzales and I both had our 9 month mark and I am so baffled about how I am at this point already. I am really working to make every day count because it goes way, way too fast!
The weather has been really cold this week and we didn't have a car. Every day took a ton of faith and diligence to get out there and work, but the Lord definitely blesses us! I have been listening to this talk lately from Elder Holland and it kind of puts things into perspective:
Sure, there are times when it is really hard to find new investigators and no one will talk to us because they don't want cold air in their houses, but we really are so blessed in our missionary work. Our ward mission leader told us this week about his insight (I think he quoted Elder Bednar) on Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Faith is a principle of looking back and remembering the tender mercies of God, looking forward and choosing to work and be obedient, and acting in the present to accomplish the work of the Lord. I really like this...the assurance of things hoped for=looking forward to the future and having an assurance things will work out. The evidence of things not seen=the ability to look back and see the hand of the Lord in your life. I thought about it a ton this week. We have seen so many tender mercies that it is impossible to NOT have faith in Christ! We are still struggling to find new people to teach and to have progressing investigators, but I know with our patience and diligence, we will be blessed.
I got a call this week asking me to give a talk in church on Sunday. I was really excited for the opportunity and thought it was especially cool since dad was giving a talk in Colorado! I was given the talk "The Lord's Way" by Stanley G. Ellis. Boy oh boy, I LOVED this talk so much. I think the main reason is that we always hear people say "they are looking for a church that fits their lifestyle." It drives me nuts, because the purpose of the church and the gospel are to fit us to live in heaven again. We should be changing our lifestyles to fit God's standards! I shared my thoughts and different examples of people in the scriptures who follow the Lord's way (especially found in 1 Nephi 18:1-4). I also shared the devastating piano recital experience when I butchered “Moonlight Sonata” and started crying. I related it to the piano teacher's way of practicing and memorizing music vs. my way of not practicing and hoping for the best and we all got to see what happened. I think people liked it. The ward here is so supportive and they even laughed at my corny jokes, so bless them. I guess I was really excited to give my talk because my companions said I started reciting it in my sleep the night before. The funniest part is that I started off the talk by saying "I would like to thank Brother Winder (our WML) for being here!" We invited a ton of investigators and less-actives to come to the talk and then there was a huge snowstorm on Sunday morning so the sacrament meeting attendance was very sparse. I was disappointed, as I thought it was a message they could use, but I know it wasn't anything we could have changed.
Probably the highlight of this week was teaching Sandy. We know she has been having problems with her finances and health lately so we told her about priesthood blessings and she really wanted one. Brother Winder came to the lesson and the spirit was very strong. She told us of the things she is struggling with--namely, a crossroads at her faith. She believes everything we are teaching her, but it is so hard for her to leave the church her daughter loves and has such a foundation in. The blessing Brother Winder gave was so beautiful and we all felt so much love for Sandy from our Heavenly Father. She is progressing, slowly but surely, but I know as she continues to read the Book of Mormon and pray, she will know what she needs to do.
Rita wasn't able to meet last week due to some health issues and her father-in-law’s passing, but we are excited to meet with her this week and teach her the plan of salvation!
Jaszzameen has been going through some hard times recently--she found out she has to have another knee surgery. That's #11 for her. We love her so much but this recent health issue has caused her progression to come to a halt so we might have to wait to continue teaching her. That's a brief update on people in the area. I love them so very much and I feel so privileged to serve them!